Karen Hanmer

Artists' Books & Installation

Gallery: Photo-Based Work

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Title: Reunion


Reunion | 2006 | $600

Sewn boards binding.

Pigment inkjet prints, silk brocade, title blind stamped onto goatskin spine.

7 x 7.5x.5"

Edition of 25
Vintage photographs and brief text document a couple’s many separations and ultimate reunion. I began Reunion shortly after the death of my father. My mother predeceased him by 34 years. He never remarried. I am intrigued with the idea that they are now reunited, at least figuratively, and perhaps in a more tangible form.


Hanmer’s parents shared a great love. Tragically, her mother died young, after just 19 years of marriage. Her father never got over the loss of his beloved Wife, though he lived another 34 years as a widower. In this book Hanmer poignantly shows with faded black and white images, the absence of her mother in photographs of them both during happier times. At the death of her father the two are reunited at long last and the final image shows them both in full color. With simple condensed text and fold-out images that have the effect of tearing the two apart, the impact of the loss and reunion is strongly felt.

Laurie Whitehill Chong, Special Collections Librarian and Curator of Artists’ Books, Fleet Library at RISD